Turnpike scofflaws could face criminal charges

Written by Rachel McDevitt | Apr 17, 2018 1:19 PM

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Harrisburg) -- The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is working to file criminal charges against its worst toll violators.

An audit two years ago found the Turnpike was losing $20 million each year by writing off toll scofflaws.

The commission's Chief Compliance Officer Ray Morrow says state law allows prosecution for theft of services if a driver owes $2,000 or more.

He told WITF's Smart Talk district attorneys in counties with Turnpike exchanges are backing the effort.

"At this point we have 14 of the 17 on board, I just haven't reached out to the other three yet," Morrow said. "All of them agreed and the response I was getting from them was--they were almost taking this personally. 'This is something we need to do, this is our money.'"

One woman in Lancaster County has reportedly racked up over $90,000 in debt to the Turnpike Commission.

A recent change in state law allows PennDOT to suspend the vehicle registration of drivers with six violations or $500 in unpaid tolls and fees.

You can hear the full conversation here.

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